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2017 May by Roman Bruehwiler
From Sochi I visited Abkhazia in a daytrip. It was easy to cross the border from Sochi to Abkhazia. With a local guide I visited lake Ritsa, a lovely lake in the Kaukasian mountains, close to the Russian border. The valley up towards lake Ritsa was beautiful, green and clean.
When I entered Abkhazia the first time, some years ago, at the Zugdidi border, the Abkhazian custom people were extremely unfriendly. That bad experiance has now been healed partly by the lovely and peaceful landscapes I have seen during this daytrip.
I can recommend Alex from Sochi to organize such a trip to Abkhazia: firstname.lastname@example.org / https:\\rutasochi.ru |
2010 Jun by David Langan
A very nice place, great setting and lovely to walk around . .
A couple of options to get here.
I flew to Sochi and then arrange a bus or taxi to the border. In fact it is really nearer Adler rather then Sochi.
I stayed at the Radisson hotel in Sochi.
I picked up a bus just outside the hotel that took me to a taxi station to go to Abkhazia, I told the driver to drop me at the next bus.
That was about 100 rouble, then found a bus driver to take me to the border , but in fact he took me by car, 300 rouble.
The hotel wil want about 1500 for this,so this is the cheapest option.
Not much to see in Sochi , Adler is nearer the airport and the border, so stay in that region. Then take a afternoon trip up the mountains , great views and you can go to a area that is world heritage site , the Western Caucasus.
Other options are now flights from Moscow from next week with Aeroflot to Sukhim capitol of Abkhazia.
You can also cross the border from Georgia, once you have permission in advance from Abkhazia foreign ministry.
You would need to check with a Georgian embassy to check ok in advance.
Ok back to this trip.
Corssing the border is a little walk. In advance you have to have permission from the Abkhazian froeign Ministry. You can find the web site. You send them a email with scan of your passport and incoming dates. You dont have to get the exact date, just give them 5 days before with a stay of one month. That will be ok and give you full flexability.
You can apply about one month in advance.
Ok so back to the border. You hand in your letter from Abkhazia and you must also have a Double entry Russian visa to get out the same way. The Russian exit people check all this, then you walk thru to the Abkhazia side and they check the letter and so on. This all takes about 20 mins.
When you get out the far side you can either do a deal with a piece of paper and pen to get a cab to Sukhum. I did a deal for `1200 roubles. Or you can get a bus, but I dont know the story with that.
The taxi takes about 2 hours or less. I got a new Toyota car, so very nice. But they mostly want around the 1500 , but hold off and you should get this price .
If you have time on the way down you could do some stops as there is a beautiful monastry and some great views by the sea.
I myself did not do this and wil be doing it on the way back as have arranged time on the way back to get flight from Sochi.
I stayed at the Sukhum hotel, you can find on the web. 55 euro per night and central. You can eat down town or accross the way in the Victoria hotel.
Sukhum is quite a marval , great to walk around and just a nice interesting place.
I went up to the Botanical Gardens and around the streets. Just sitting in the centre over looking the black sea and see all the tree lined streets is quite nice.
Before you leave you must get a visa .
You go to a specail bank and pay 20 dollar or rouble equiv and get a receipt. Then to the foreign ministry and give the receipt and you get a loose visa you can put in your passport . The hotel was very helpful explianing all this to me.
If you are into sending Postcards, welll that is a story and a half..
There is one shop selling postcards on the opposite side to the street of the post office, so look out for that.
In the post office they only really have envelopes with Russian stamps as Abkhazia stamps are only valid for Abkhazia.
Ask for the philatelic section up stairs,, Philatelic sounds the same in Russian !!!
Ok up stairs and there show the postcards,, (tip do not write on the card until you have the stamps on. )
Ask for Abkhazia stamps and you will be told in russian that you also have to have Russian stamps on as well as the postcards go back via Sochi. That is fine Da,...
So put the Abkhazia stamps on and they they may try to get you to put the postcards into envelope. Tell them no and beg.. yes beg for Russian stamps .. (Better tip bring russian stamps from sochi and have them just in case)
Next in my case the Stamps appeared so how and you then put them on the left side.
Now you can write your card with what space you have.
Pay for the stamps and give a little extra and then down stairs to make sure they get stamped and sent out in the mail.
On the way to the border I have allowed extra time and will stop at the sights I missed on the way down.
I did a deal with a taxi driver near the post office for 1500 roubles. to the border.
hotel is www.otel-sukhu.ru
Foreign Ministry www.mfaabkhazia.org/
Now hope this helps,
2007 Sep by Jorge Sanchez
Lovely country Abkhazia. I saw many cows and United Nations cars along the road from the Russian border to Sukhumi.The border in Psou was OK, the Russians let me go in. The Abkhazian authorities were very kind.I had 24 hours to request my visa in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.I visited New Athos monastery and its caves, and also a lake wonderful and Gagra. One week is enough.The weather is good, plus 18 degrees, sunshine and people swimming, while this morning it was cold and raining in Moscow. I paid 4000 rubbles for the ticket to Sochi because platskartni vagon in the train to Adler was not available, and the cupe class costs the same than the airplane. I was given only a small sandwich of kalbasa and a bad tea, on board. Here in Sukhum life is cheaper than in Moscow, and I had a local piva for 20 rubbles, half a litre beer, and a shashlik of khru khru (pig) for only 100 rubbles.Soon I will add more info and pictures.New Athos MonasteryThis monastery is a must during your visit to Abkhazia.I spent 3 nights there like a pilgrim.After visiting Abkhazia, please DO NOT GO TO GEORGIA!!! (I was imprisoned during 72 hours without food, and forced to pay 2000 euro for my freedom after a fake trial) when I tried to enter the country from Trabzon, in Turkey). Georgians are the most corrupted people in the Caucasus, and the authorities have already spent in private houses and sending money to private banks all the money that USA gave them for joining NATO.In the USSR times, Georgians were famous for falsifying documents, wines (even now), and all kind of mafia matters.Change you passport first....................
NEW ATHOS MONASTERY: In 1874 Russian monks from the overcrowded Rossikon Monastery on Mount Athos arrived to the Caucasus in order to find a place for possible resettlement. They feared that the Ottoman Empire would oust the Russians from Athos after the outbreak of the impending Russo-Turkish War. They selected Psyrtskha, and the Neo-Byzantine New Athos Monastery, dedicated to St. Simon the Canaanite, was constructed there in the 1880s with funds provided by Tsar Alexander III of Russia. Eventually Russian monks were permitted to stay in the \"old\" Athos, and the New Athos monastery had much less occupancy than anticipated.
In 1924, during the Soviet persecution of religion, the monastery was closed. It was later used as a storage facility, tourist base, hospital and museum. Its return to the Orthodox Church began in 1994, after the end of the war.
I weas allowed to stay for free for 3 days: I was given a lovely room with a window facing the Blacjk Sea. I could participate in all the ceremonies and eat with the monks in the trapeza.
The monastery was closed to the toruism in the evening, then only the monks and pilgrims (I was a pilgrim) could stay inside.
Some of the monks could speak Greek language for having lived several years oin Mount Athos..................
The Cave of SIMON THE ZEALOT: This cave is at a walking distance from the monastery New Athos through a lovely path across the jungle.
There is a man inside taking care of the cave. Tourists use to visit the place and buy candles. I also bought a candle. Inside there is peace, a quiet atmosphere,. Indeed one feels that it is a holy place.
The tomb of Simon the Zealot is inside a temple not far from there. I visited the temple but could not find the tomb. It seems that I was not lucky and that day the man in charge of the tomb had not appeared and nobody else had the key except him. |
2006 Nov by Veikko Huhtala*
It took many weeks time to get permit from Abkhazia Repsetentation in Moscow. We had flight to Trabzon in Turkey and from there taxi to Zugdidi near Abkhazian border. There was not any problems in the crossing border. We crossed the river and took another taxi to Sukhumi. Next day we went to Akbhazian Foreign Ministry to get our Abkhazian visas which were ready to collect in afternoon. Easy and safe country to visit. |
1970 Jul by Aino Ilkkala
In the summer of 1970 (!) I spent a couple of weeks in Shotsi in Soviet Union. From there I made two day-trips to Abkhazia, one by a hydrofoil to Sukhumi and another by bus to lake Ritsa, which both belonged at that time to Soviet Union. I don't think it is that easy today to cross the border. |